A Chunk of SciFi – 2.06 – Project Lazarus

“Congratulations! Due to your amazing contributions to society and the galactic community you have been chosen to take part in Project Lazarus. You may have heard about the Lazarus project on the newsnet and wanted to take part. Well, now you can! Not only will you be ensuring that what makes you what you are lives on after your death, but that humanity and our allies will be able to tap into your knowledge and life experiences as well…”
Welcome letter for Project Lazrus participants.

After losing many valuable citizens in various wars and disasters, several ideas were brought forth on how to preserve and restore lost knowledge if needed. Some of these ideas ranged from temporal manipulation to wiping out all other cultures, to forcing a type of ascension to energy based life. None of these was taken seriously and the idea looked doomed to fail. It was around this time that Project Lazarus was put forth by a collection of medical, technological and engineering corporations. In a rare show of unity, the joint proposal was put forth to have not one, but several sub-systems dedicated to this task. After careful analysis, the go was given and a % of the galactic budget was put to one side for what was to be one of the most ambitious and largest joints projects ever attempted.

At its core Project Lazarus (PL) is the preservation of knowledge on death. Anyone who joins the project is fitted with a microchip in the base of their skull during a simple procedure. Their memories, skills and thoughts are stored on this chip. On death, this chip signals that it is ready to be removed and is inserted into the central complex on Arus. To begin with, there was a major push-back against PL from the general public as it was regarded as the highest invasion of privacy. Slowly, over time, this belief changed as no events occurred to frighten people. The corporations behind it seemed to have the best intentions. At the very least, by maintaining the project legitimately, they had a guaranteed income for life from the rest of the galaxy.

This changed when a popular celebrity, considered to a bit eccentric, yet well respected and loved by many, died to weapon fire in a border skirmish. It turned out they were a member of PL and had a chip fitted. The chip was retrieved and the true nature and possibility of what Project Lazarus could do were unveiled. Within a matter of hours, her Mind had been uploaded to the Arus network. From there people who knew her well were able to converse with her, talk to her and confirm details no-one else could. As these tests on her mind were done, and more and more people agreed that if it was a fake personality it was 99.999% the same as the original, the second stage of PL was revealed. Using advanced cloning methods, a mind-bank copy of her body was made and aged to around 25. With her permission, the mind was copied from the Arus network back into the new fresh body. Many tests were performed and , ignoring minor changes for cloning, her body and mind was identical to her medical records. In effect, she had been brought back to life and a copy of mind was still in the network.

For all its possible wonders, PL has a few disadvantages. The first is that not every mind can handle the transfer to the Arus network. The second is that the cloning process to grow a new body is not aways effective at making a “blank slate”. Strict laws prohibit the download into a body with awareness or a mind. Then there is the issue with getting the chip installed, storing info etc. But, for the chance to store a copy of someone’s mind and then interact with it afterwards is, for many, worth the risk.

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